Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer : Dustin Lance Black
This is a movie about the first openly elected gay supervisor Harvey Milk (Sean Penn).The entire feature is a flashback of scenes as he is recording his life in tapes.
The film opens with Milk’s 40th birthday when he along with his boyfriend Scott Smith (James Franco) decides to move to San Francisco. They open a store named Castro camera in a working class neighborhood, the store however turns into somewhat of a gay community later on. Milk decides to contest for supervisor with the help of his business contacts and undo the oppression. He looses twice in the years 1973 & 1975. Milk soon gets obsessed about his political career which leads to the break up of him and Smith.
However he wins a seat to the San Francisco Board of supervisors in the year 1977 and gets to meets Dan white (Josh Brolin)- an Irish catholic politician who believes in the current system of the country. Milk decides not to support him on one of his propositions and from then on a sense of betrayal crams White’s mind.
The remainder of the film is about other constitutional gay disputes, church interferences and ends with the assassination of Milk and the City’s mayor.
The film is a bold effort of Director Gus Van Sant who had also made great use of a few real life incidents to portray the social boycott and injustice in an effective manner. The screenplay is skillful and there is enough clarity as the film continuously jumps from the past to the present.
Sean Penn will be remembered for this his portrayal of the ‘never give up gay politician’ who along with him had taken the film to the next level. Josh Brolin had done a commendable job in keeping the intensity alive in the film. The best part of the film is that is keeps up its pace and it never bores you, which if you ask me is a grand achievement for a bio-pic. This movie certainly deserves all the nominations and awards it had earned and also marks the come back of Director Gus Van Sant.
After watching the movie you might wonder what would have happened if he was not assassinated. He was such a strong contender that he might even win the presidential election and the world wouldn’t have to wait for an Obama.
Rating- √√√√ – great watch
oscar nominations – 8
Actor – Sean Penn Editing – Elliot Grham
Direction – Gus Van Sant Picture – Focus Features
Costume Design – Danny Glicker
Supporting Actor – Josh Brolin
Original score – Danny Elfman
Original Screenplay – Dustin Lance Black